Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This study examined the characteristics of items using none of the above (NOT A) as an answer option in observation based multiple-choice questions. Previous research has examined only the use of a NOTA option in academic knowledge based testing, not in visual recognition testing. Item difficulty and discrimination were examined for three different item formats: (a) items without a NOTA option, (b) items with NOTA as a distracter, and (c) items with NOTA as the correct answer. The questions were based on two photographs with similar content. A total of 98 participants from a large southeastern university completed a visual recognition test containing all three item types. Results revealed no difference in item discrimination between items without a NOTA option and items with a NOTA option, but did indicate that items with a NOTA option were more difficulty. A discussion of the results, limitations, and suggestions for future research is provided.


Education | Psychology